This is an ideal breakfast or brunch dish. Serve with lots of crusty bread to soak up the juices from the apples, pancetta, and eggs. If you cannot find fennel powder, it is easy to make by grinding fennel seeds in a spice grinder. Keep it in a glass jar; it will come handy to add a subtle fennel flavor to your rubs and marinades.
- PANCETTA AND APPLES
- Six ¼-inch-thick slices pancetta (8 ounces total)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium Golden Delicious apples, cored and cut crosswise into 6 rings each
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- FENNEL EGGS
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 large eggs
- ¼ teaspoon fennel powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons grated Grana Padano
For the pancetta and apples, lay the pancetta in one layer in a large skillet over medium heat, and drizzle with the olive oil. Cook until the pancetta has rendered its fat and is crisp, turning as needed, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove to a paper- towel- lined plate to drain. Drain off all but a thin layer of fat from the pan.
Over medium heat, add the vinegar and butter, and stir to combine. Add the apple rings and cook, moving them around in the pan, until they are tender and golden, about 4 minutes.
Add the pancetta back to the skillet, and drizzle the maple syrup over all. Cook, turning the pancetta and apples, until evenly glazed, about 2 minutes. Keep warm while you make the eggs.
For the eggs, set a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet over a burner that’s still off. Swirl the pan with the olive oil, and gently break all the eggs to fill the pan, taking care not to break the yolks. Sprinkle with the salt and fennel powder. Sprinkle the grated cheese over all.
Cover the skillet, and turn the flame to medium low. Cook until the whites are set and the yolks are done to your liking, about 7 to 8 minutes for still runny yolks.
To serve, set the apples and pancetta on a warm plate and top with a cooked egg.